Steele, Anne

Steele, Anne, a hymn writer, usually called Mrs. Steele, although she really was never married, was born at Broughton, Hampshire, England, in 1716. Her father, the Rev. William Steele, was a Baptist minister in the place of her nativity. She developed early in life poetical talent, which showed itself in the composition of devotional hymns, many of which have been introduced into our collections of hymns. She united with her father's Church when she was fourteen years of age. A few years after this she became engaged to a young man named Escort. The day for the wedding was fixed, and her friends were assembled to witness the ceremony, when the sad intelligence was brought to the house that the expected bridegroom, having gone into the river to bathe, ventured beyond his depth, and was drowned. In 1750 two volumes of her poetry were published under the name of Theodosia. She died in 1778. Her collected Poems and Hymns, published in 1780, were edited by Dr. Caleb Evans. They were published also in Boston in 1808, and a new edition, edited by John Sheppard, was published in 1863. See Christopher, Hymn-writers and their Hymns, p. 225; Butterworth, Story of the Hymns p. 58-60; Belcher, Historical Sketches of Hymns, p. 237-239. (J.C.S.)

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